Humour Your Way to Success
Humour (or humor, if you prefer) is the tendency to induce or provoke laughter or amusement in someone to make him or her laugh or smile, showing acceptance of amusement. The degree to which that person will find something humorous will depend on a lot of factors that include but are not limited to: age, gender, intelligence, maturity, education, culture, upbringing, geographical location, religion, context and health (physical, mental and spiritual).
There are many benefits of having a good sense of humour. Some of these are:
1. The restorative power of humor is also widely documented and can be found in many medical journals.
2. Humor is a good ice breaker when you’re meeting someone for the first time.
3. A person with a good sense of humor is more likeable and/ or lovable!
4. Humour helps you increase your social status, thus increasing your chances of making more money, getting a better job, getting more friends, getting more favors of the other gender, and increasing your influencing power dramatically!
5. If you’re really very good at humour, you can actually earn a decent income as an artist or a comedian!
6. You will significantly lower stress, one of the most common “disease” faced by most humans, with so much destruction, recession and other bad news floating around. You will also make a lot of people happy by being humorous, thus spreading goodness in the society at large.
7. You can actually take undue advantage of your humor skills by ending a fight or disagreement with someone where it’s your fault! If you do this, do also have the courtesy of admitting and apologizing for your fault.
I’m sure you will now agree that having a good sense of humor is almost necessary. However, there are some “dos” and “don’ts” also which, while seem common sense, are ignored by many. Some of these don’ts are:
1. The context of the situation is very important when you crack a joke or punch line. You don’t want to crack one to relieve someone in depression whose near and dear one has just died (obviously). Take it slow.
2. Be very careful when speaking something risqué which uses adult, profanity or double entendre. Don’t do this in front of children. Yes, they understand more than you think. And if they don’t, they’ll probably ask the meaning to someone in unwanted surroundings and cause embarrassment. Don’t even do this in front of an audience which does not approve of it, especially in a work environment where you could even get fired or sued. I’ll leave it to you to make your own judgment on what fits in your group. Better warn them before you speak, and evaluate the reactions before you begin such humour.
3. Never use jokes or stories which disparage individuals or particular groups. The effect could be more of a negative stance than a positive one. A joke that reflects on the performance of particular people might not be accepted as a friendly joke. For example, a joke about short guys just might get shorties in the group thinking as if it was pointed at them.
4. Never start off on a great joke when you end up stumbling for the main punch line. Your built up anticipation will only make you a pathetic joker, so remember to prepare the delivery in your mind before you start.
Having got the important tips out of the way, here are some tips to excel in humor:
1. Keep them simple enough for most people to understand. There’s no point explaining a joke, it will only create a dull fizzle, at most.
2. If the joke is aimed at yourself, you reduce the risk of embarrassment drastically.
3. Speak at a normal pace. Most people tend to speed up the delivery either to get to the punch line or are uncomfortable being the center of attraction. This tends to goof up the joke big time.
4. Be prepared in advance. If you’ve learned and practiced your delivery you wont have butterflies in your stomach, or maybe just a few.
5. Learn to breathe. Some people in their excitement forget to breathe and try to get along with less oxygen; which is actually required in a greater quantity. So take a few deep breaths before you begin your delivery.
6. A good idea would be to note down real life funny instances as and when you come across them and add some good ones when you read somewhere. They try to make small changes and a bit of customization to suit the group. Don’t crack jokes like a parrot out of a joke book, they’re quite common and people will either sneer or laugh at you.
7. Create groups of jokes and target them at niche groups. So when in an IT savvy group, use computer related jokes. So on and so forth.
8. Finally, be yourself and let the joke or story flow naturally. Don’t sound like a recorded or canned message.
Humour your way to success; you’ll get a positive addiction to it!